Pennsylvania Alternate System of Assessment (PASA)

  • Qualifications for the Pennsylvania Alternate System of Assessment (PASA)

    • Students with the MOST significant cognitive disabilities who meet all six eligibility criteria.
    • Participation determination is made annually by the student’s IEP team.
    • The decision is documented in section IV of the student's IEP.


    2020-21 PASA Testing Information
    Dynamic Learning Maps (DLM) will serve as the new PASA assessment vendor for the 2020-21 testing cycle. 
    Students taking the DLM alternate assessment will be assessed in English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics in grades 3-8 and 11.  The ELA portion of the assessment includes both reading and math. Science will be assessed in grades 4,8, and 11 in three domains: physical, life, and earth and space science. Assessment coordinators and district test coordinators are required to complete mandatory webinars prior to enrolling students in the new system. 

  • (2020-21) Test Window

    • Enrollment Window: October 19 - December 11, 2020
    • Test Administration Window: March 8 – May 7, 2021
    • Score Reports Available: June 18, 2021

  • 1% Threshold Federal Regulation Compliance

    • Pennsylvania must ensure that no more than 1% of total tested students are assessed on the alternate assessment.
    • All local education agencies (LEAs) must submit anticipated PASA percentage rates for 2020-21 to the Bureau of Special Education via the justification survey.
    • LEAs who anticipate exceeding the 1% will be required to complete the entire justification and make it publicly available.

  • NOTICE - PASA Participation

    The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) requires Pennsylvania to ensure that the total number of students assessed in each subject using the PASA does not exceed one percent of the total number of all students in the state assessed on the statewide assessments, commonly known as the PSSA’s. Each local educational agency (LEA) must complete and submit the PASA 1.0 Percent Participation Threshold Justification to the Bureau of Special Education (BSE) if it anticipates that more than one percent of its students enrolled in grades 3-8 and 11 will be assessed using the PASA. A list of LEAs who anticipate exceeding the threshold will be made publicly available on the PDE website in accordance with 34 CFR 200.6 (c)(3) regulations.  LEAs must also make the document publicly available upon request, removing any personally identifiable information.

    Cheltenham School District anticipates exceeding the one percent threshold for PASA participation for the 2020-21 testing cycle.  The necessary justification information has been submitted to the Bureau of Special Education.